"We empower NetApp users to thrive through our storage agnostic solutions"
It is no news that big data analytics and cloud computing are the two biggest technology trends today, since they are projected to reach more than $467 billion worth combined market value by 2020. Observing the extreme growth and increasing adoption of these tech trends, traditional storage providers such as NetApp are currently looking for a way to reinvent themselves to ultimately gain an edge in a market where the lines between data storage and analytics continue to diminish. “One way for NetApp and other storage-centric companies to move forward is by going up the stack and creating more value for their end users,” says Rebecca Yan Ye, Co-Founder, and COO of Xcalar.
NetApp has partnered with Xcalar to offer customers a powerful, self-service solution to discover meaningful insights from NetApp file server logs and user data. With Xcalar’s patented technology, users can not only explore all of their business data without having to copy or move the data, but they can also build models that create business value at scale, directly and interactively, any programming. Xcalar leverages the resiliency, availability, and scalability built into NetApp storage and extends it with a simple, powerful, and easy-to-use data analytics solution. Rebecca highlights that Xcalar helps NetApp customers continue to benefit from their file servers by providing additional value-added services, and offers complete ownership of the data stored in NetApp Private Storage (NPS).
In a nutshell, Xcalar defines a new paradigm for NetApp’s storage solutions; one that is essentially future-proof. “We empower NetApp users to make meaningful businesses decisions in a fast and efficient manner,” says Rebecca.
Simplifying Data Access and Analytics
Xcalar’s transformative big data technology offers a next-generation data processing, management, and analytics platform that is open and extensible. Xcalar brings simplicity to advanced analytics by allowing users to prepare, transform, and enrich their data without relying on technology experts. To address the entire end-to-end big data processing, data management, and analytics pipeline, and bring together relational compute at cloud scale, Xcalar offers two major products: Xcalar Data Platform (XDP) and Xcalar Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW). Their enterprise-grade software enables companies to build data models, algorithms/dataflows through a visual interface, and operationalize them at petabyte scale with complete governance and auditing capabilities. With Xcalar, customers can trace full data lineage through all stages of the analytics pipeline.
I started the company to allow large numbers of people across personas, different use cases, and lines of business to do information discovery in an unprecedented level of simplicity, speed, scale, efficiency, and parallelism
The Xcalar data platform dramatically simplifies and modernizes the approach to data analysis for enterprises, and addresses the needs of business analysts, DBAs, data engineers, data scientists, developers, and IT admins. Xcalar’s product suite includes two GUIs: Xcalar Design, an elegant and intuitive visual studio, and Xcalar Insight to allows hundreds of users to interactively work with billions of rows. By providing fast, auditable access to the data lake, Xcalar enables users to point, analyze, and view their big data as live virtual tables or hypercubes. Using Xcalar’s patented True Data In Place™ technology, data can be analyzed within minutes without ETL or making copies of data. Xcalar products can virtualize the data sources. Users can analyze data in its original form through metadata views that are dynamic and fluid. The platform’s ad hoc modeling & analytics capability allows interactive analysis on very large datasets. Xcalar’s scalability and efficient use of hardware resources enable interactive analysis for over a trillion rows using relational operations such as join, group-by, sort, merge, union, and pivot.
Dataflows developed by users through visual programming, SQL, and structured programming can be saved, operationalized, and scheduled to run on production data.
Expanding their product offerings, Xcalar VDW addresses needs of BI and analytics applications that can now process streaming data with insert/modify/ delete transactions. It performs relational operations on petabytes of unstructured, semi-structured, and structured data through ODBC and language agnostic RESTful interfaces. The virtualized data warehouse delivers enterprise-grade performance, scalability, and reliability for new analytics workloads. Supporting all major business intelligence tools, including Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Looker, and QlikView, the product can help users discover insights from petabytes of semi-structured, unstructured, and structured data, using relational operations, algorithmic modeling, and machine learning. Users can rapidly incorporate micro-batch updates with transactional consistency, do rollbacks, and get point-in-time views of their data with an intuitive graphical interface. Xcalar VDW helps end-users minimize costs by scaling storage and compute resources separately, without sacrificing strong data consistency. Just as with XDP, Xcalar VDW can be deployed on Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, or on-premises.
To elaborate on Xcalar’s applications, Rebecca highlights two unique instances where clients used Xcalar’s offerings for internal log analysis, data aggregation, data transformation, and reporting errors. A cloud data services company had 3 programmers who took around 4 months for doing log analysis and create a report whenever they needed to launch a new product. Xcalar could successfully shrink that time window down to three hours. “Efficient log analysis with new insights can greatly increase customer satisfaction and help understand how Netapp products fit their needs,” says Rebecca. In another instance, PRGX, an invoice audit recovery processing vendor, who caters to the top 300 retailers in the U.S., was working on understanding billing errors that occurred between retailers and suppliers. They needed several data sources aggregated, and then perform sophisticated data transformations to identify the sources of errors. Xcalar helped PRGX in data aggregation, data transformation, and reporting of errors. By delivering these capabilities Xcalar has created value for their business.
On the Promise of Big Data Analytics
Xcalar delivers on the promise of big data analytics that enterprises have waited on for years. It also educates its customers to help them streamline their goals by carefully understanding their requirements and help meet them. Xcalar takes a customer-centric approach by guiding them through the journey and staying by their side at all times as a trusted partner and advisor.
With proven results in the big data landscape, Xcalar aims to launch new products, expand into the international market, and build more partnerships with other system integrators and technology vendors. “In the next 12 to 18 months, we are looking at tripling our bookings, growing our team, and continuing to make a powerful impact,” concludes Rebecca.